Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Lady Looks Like a Dude (Part II)

Yesterday I was out with a friend who has a 3-week-old daughter. We were at the *gasp, choke* mall. In the middle of the day. With our strollers. Amid all the other moms and their strollers. As Chris Rock said in Bring the Pain, "How the %$#*! did I get here?"

I tried to quell my panic by pretending I was an anthropologist. It didn't work. I am now one of those ladies.

Fortunately my friend felt the same way, so I was not alone. We soothed ourselves with the thought that this is all temporary, that one day we will miss all of this. (We would have soothed ourselves with the pacifiers but the babies had claimed them. In truth, given a wider array of options, we would have soothed ourselves with a couple of shots of Patron washed down with beer chasers, but we're both nursing.)

So when a woman stopped to admire our daughters, I felt like I was playing a role: proud momma, smiling smugly while onlookers admire her princess.

The woman looked at my friend's daughter -- 3 weeks old, mind you; they all look genderless at that age -- and correctly identified her as an adorable girl. Then she looked at Fi and said, "And this one MUST BE A BIG BOUNCING BOY!"

I could have freaked. I could have been indignant. Instead, I felt strangely reassured that my oddness, that very quality I've always both hated and cherished in myself, was still intact. I looked like a boy as a child, and now I have a sweet little daughter who looks like a boy. It makes us just left-of-center enough to leave me feeling that I'll never become a Stepford Wife no matter how many malls I visit in the middle of the day, and that my daughter will be interesting, which is, to my mind, high praise.

But let's be honest: obviously I want people to know she's a girl. Hence that red-and-white Baby Nay confection in the picture. At least I'm not Velcro-ing bows to her head.



Blogger katiedid said...

God help me, but I BEG of you. Stay away from the head bows! Talk yourself down from it if need be. Heh.

8:27 PM, April 07, 2006  
Anonymous jonniker said...

I'm with Katie. No bows. Please, christ, no bows. But the toile confection? Perfect.

And seriously, I GET this. And yah, I kind of have the same thing going on. It's nice to know we are who we are, oddities and all, and that maybe that'll be passed down.

I'd have taken a shot of tequila right then and there and turned off my boobs. Not sure I could have made it otherwise.

11:24 PM, April 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA! That was my worst 'new mom' moment. Pushing a stroller in the mall with my infant daughter with the sea of other zombie, jobless moms, I *hated* the feeling. Just bein' honest! I think I did it exactly....hmmmm...twice. I still feel a twinge when I see the herds of moms at the mall in the middle of the day, makes me uncomfortable. I guess I just didn't fit in. And that's a-okay with me!


5:03 AM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger Parisjasmal said...

You have officially joined what I call the "Stroller Brigade". Please know at malls, restaurants, parks and elsewhere I will avoid you at all costs! Just kidding!!!

Your post was hilarious!
Hugs to you and Fi!

8:22 AM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger Bela said...

Oh no, the Stroller Brigade! I have bruises on my shins from being bumped into by them in the local shops. Perhaps you should dangle Fi on your chest instead, but babies are b***** heavy, aren't they? You'd get backache, I expect.

She's adorable. Full stop. :-)

1:42 PM, April 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one of the mundant masses ,I think big babies are heatlhy and don't wish were petite when they are not! I think walking your child in a mall is good in cold weather .And I certainly regularly mix -up boy and girl babies. But then I was a 20 year old Mother who either was very stupid or did not worry the days away about bonding or nursing. .You have a perfect baby ,so how about some Joy or even bragging about your wonderful baby.Yes I am provoked by your posts I thought you were against body image problems in teens , Yikes how about NOT doing it to a baby. Katie

7:14 PM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

Points well taken, Katie. I hope you know I was joking about the size issue; I love the idea of a daughter who is tall like her parents. :-)

I tend to be self-deprecating because years of being told I need to "be knocked down a peg" by my mother have given me this knee-jerk "please don't be intimidated by me, I'm actually a loser" attitude that can become really irritating at times. (See, I did it again.)

The rest of your comments sting a little, appropriately, because you called me out. You're completely right: how about a little joy? How about not worrying away the days with stuff that matters so little in the long run? It's just the (gentle) kick in the pants I needed. I've been listening too intently to the comments of others. I've been too affected by the disapproving or, worse, pitying looks of health care providers and mothers who find out I've been supplementing with formula. There are 6 billion people on this earth and just as many ways to raise a baby while maximizing joy and love and minimizing stress. I'm learning slowly. Please be patient. :-)

10:34 AM, April 09, 2006  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...


I can so relate, and remember when people who would admire the babies would be confused about his/her sex. I figured it was me being insecure, and caring about what everyone else thought, rather than focusing my own pride, joy and happiness about motherhood.

There are so many different phases, and emotions that you will feel, K...You are in for some wonderful, and tricky surprises!!

I am with you every step and stumble of the way....

1:34 PM, April 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will! and I am behind you with support Kris ! But it was time to say something. I was reared by a Mother who wanted to change all things she could about me or go stricly by the books . You don't want to even sound like that. I has hoped you took this well and you did, as it was intended to be construcive. I know you are doing the best you can, but try to cut youself some slack. It is okay Kris , it really is! YOU are a wonderful Mother please believe that! Could it be a bit of post -Part-depression? I have wondered about that? Yes I know you are writing for interest & humour but I would hate to think one day Fi when she is older , could accidently read this, think about that. What I said was with love. I hope you know that , relaxingjoy filled vibes. You know I care or I would never have said anything Much love Katie

2:00 PM, April 09, 2006  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

Right again, Katie. I've been walking just above the surface of depression and doing my best not to plunge down into it. (Don't worry, I am seeing my healthcare providers regularly so I've got everyone on guard; I won't hesitate to seek treatment if things get worse.)

That's the source of my fear about fixing the breastfeeding situation. I think there's a good chance that if I just ditched the pump and the shield and the other props and BFed her for several days that things would get better supply-wise, but I really fear that the sleeplessness and hungry wailing will suck me down into a real depression.

I know you had my best interest at heart. You've built such a record of kindness and support that your post came across as it was intended to, as a bit of "tough love" when it was needed. Believe me, no offense was taken -- you were right.


4:26 PM, April 09, 2006  
Blogger katiedid said...

"I'm learning slowly. Please be patient. :-)" Heh. That's all of us. Not just for mothering, for EVERYTHING. I think we're all slow learners, really. My kids JUST turned seven, and I'm learning slowly too. I just wanted to urge you not to be so frinking hard on yourself. You and your family are so lucky to have each other, and I just hate to see you not enjoying your luck :)

6:22 PM, April 10, 2006  

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